Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 5, 2014

What did we get wrong in 2013?

(Continued)

Turns out that Americans-like the rest of the developed world-want universal health care too. Obamacare is still an awkward, unwieldy way to accomplish that goal. But it appears to be getting accomplished nonetheless.

My mistakes? Born of pessimism. Maybe Barack Obama is a better president than I thought.

Ben Boychuk

Among the worst sins a columnist can commit — apart from deliberate dissembling and outright fabrication, of course — is backpedaling. You stake out an opinion, by golly, you’d better stick to it.

Unless you really stepped in it-then own up and move on.

Prognostication is a sucker’s game, best avoided whenever possible. But sometimes the temptation is too great. When we wrote about President Obama’s folly in Syria, for example, I boldly predicted: “God help us when-not if-China and Russia decide to take advantage of our leaders’ incompetence.”

In the intervening months, China has extended its air defense zone over the East China Sea — a move the United States rightly denounced — and Russia has fortified its sphere of influence by keeping Ukraine out of the European Union. Not a calamity, by any means, but let’s see what 2014 has in store.

Last week, I argued that the disastrous rollout of Obamacare was the most significant political story of the year. This week came word that 1 million Americans have successfully enrolled in a qualifying health insurance plan ahead of the New Year switchover.

A mistake on my part? Only if you missed the related item that some 3.5 million people lost their old insurance under the new law and have been unable to find replacement coverage. Maybe 2014 will bring better news.

My greatest regret had less to do with faulty predictions and more to do with a confounding lack of clarity. In November, we wrote about how best to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Practically nobody in the United States wants to go to war with Iran, I wrote.

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